BOKO HARAM: 89 high-profile suspects detained in Abuja •Confusion over alleged escape of kingpin on Sallah day •IG probes news of escape

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AT the detention centre located
in the premises of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the
Nigeria Police at Area 10, Garki, Abuja, are 89 high-profile suspects made up
of key Boko Haram kingpins and others. It was here that a suspect was alleged
to have escaped a few days ago.
A
security source told Saturday Tribune on Friday that among the 89 prime
suspects were two females but could not confirm their link with the sect, just
as he hinted at inter-agency rivalry between the police and another security
agency as the source of current controversies over the reported escape of a key
Boko Haram suspect from police custody.

While
the police insisted on Friday that no suspect named Sani Mohammed escaped from
its custody, sources in another security agency maintained that a suspect by
that name indeed escaped during last Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

Sources
at the other security agency in Abuja confirmed to Saturday Tribune that the
high-profile suspect, who had been in the custody of the police since January,
actually escaped during the last Eid-el-Kabir celebrations when he was escorted
out to say his prayers.
Saturday
Tribune recall that Muhammed was arrested by the police in January inside the
Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, along with another leader of
the sect, Kabiru Sokoto and one Airforce officer, and kept in police custody
until Kabiru Sokoto escaped.
Sokoto,
who escaped from a team of police dectetives led by the  now dismissed
Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, during a purported enquiry mission to
Abaji, a suburb of Abuja, was rearrested by operatives of the Department of the
State Security Service.
It was
gathered that while  Sokoto has since his rearrest been in the custody of
the SSS, both Muhammed and the Airforce officer remained in Police custody
until Muhammed disappeared into thin air during the last Eid-el-Kabir
celebrations, having franternised with the policemen around him, who reportedly
allowed him access to phones, choice meals and all kinds of visitors.
However,
the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, has repeatedly insisted
that no suspect escaped from the police custody and that the police had no
suspect bearing Sani Mohammed or Mohammed Sani in their custody based on
available records with the police authorities.
Saturday
Tribune, however,  garthered from other security agencies that it was
actually the same Sani Mohammed  who was arrested over Boko Haram
activities along with Kabiru Sokoto and the airforce officer in Asokoro in
January that escaped from police custody.
The
Police High Command was said to have been rattled when the information of
Muhammed’s escape started filtering out and had tried hard to manage the
information, hoping that the fleeing man would soon be apprehended. But
unfortunately, the Presidency got wind of the escape through another security
agency during the week.
According
to the source, the Presidency was furious and alarmed over the development
because of its security implications and subsequently gave the
Inspector-General of Police,   M D Abubakar,  an order to
produce the fleeing suspect as well as those responsible for his escape in a
matter of days or face the music.
A senor
security officer who confirmed the escape of the suspect told Saturday Tribune
in confidence that Muhammed actually escaped in a “mysterious manner which can
only  be explained  by those involved alone.”
“Sani
of the Boko Haram sect actually escaped from police custody. It is shameful. If
anybody is saying it is not him, let him or her produce the Sani Mohammed that
was arrested by our people in January this year along with Kabiru Sokoto and
one airforce officer in Asokoro, and let the SSS bring out Kabiru Sokoto who
was rearrested by the service after he escaped. This will solve the whole
drama,” he said.
Meanwhile,
the Inspector-GeneraI of Police has ordered an investigation into the rumour of
alleged escape of the Boko- Haram kingpin.
Informed
police sources told Saturday Tribune that the Police High Command is worried by
attempts from some quarters to discredit the Force by spreading false information.
According
to the source, the purpose of the investigation is to unravel the motive behind
what it described as “the false information that has created panic in the
country.”
Mba
has, however, urged members of the public and the international community to
disregard the escape story, which he described as untrue.
He
noted that the task of defending the nation’s democracy is a collective one,
and urged the people to “desist from using the media to spread false
information capable of creating panic.”
On the
perceived delay in the prosecution of the terror suspects, Mba explained that
investigation and prosecution of this type of crime take time.
 “We
will get to the root and motive of this unguarded false information. All
terror-related suspects are intact in our custody,” he insisted.
Source:
Tribune

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